Sex and the City of God: A Memoir of Love and Longing

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Sex and the City of God: A Memoir of Love and Longing


Carolyn Weber


InterVarsity Press

Publication Date:

August 25, 2020




224 pages


When Carolyn Weber went to study at Oxford, the last thing she expected was to find faith. After becoming a Christian, she realized that it truly did affect everything, from her view on what was worth living for to who she would have romantic relationships with. She relates stories about that side of her spiritual journey, from when she broke up with her atheist boyfriend to the various men she was attracted to later. With each encounter, she comes to understand what makes sex so important and the Christian view of sex so vital.

Weber balances telling her story and reflecting on it throughout the book. Her reflections are written in a clever style, with lots of literary references and some very poetic descriptions. This is a hard style to do well in a memoir without seeming pretentious. Consequently, other memoirists like Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) aim for a much simpler style, describing things in a bare way that feels dramatic in its simplicity. Weber makes her more ornamented style work, possible because she’s careful to show she’s a fallible human being. She’s well-read, but also someone who could be swayed by little things like a classmate she found good looking. She considers the philosophical side of sexuality (such as how Augustine’s idea of two cities helps people understand why to love God first), but also freely admits times she was tempted to follow lust. She even works in some bawdy humor at times. This balancing act makes the book multilayered but very readable.

A very enlightening, substantial and, yes, romantic memoir about love.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians who enjoy memoirs about love, romance and the struggle to understand sexuality in a God-honoring way.

Christian Impact

Weber takes the orthodox Christian conclusion that sex is to take place within marriage. But like any good memoirist, she doesn’t give away her conclusions until the end. Most of the book is about how she struggled with that idea and was tempted to fight against it as a new Christian. In the end though, she stuck with it. Looking back at her journey as a wife and mother, she admits that like anyone she’s tempted with lust but keeps coming back to what drew her into God-honoring sexuality and then into marriage. This is made possible not just by her will (which can be faulty) but by a community of Christian friends who love her and help her return to truth.

Sex and the City of God: A Memoir of Love and Longing

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